We all know the importance of looking after our physical health as we get older, but what about our mental health? One of the biggest challenges that we face as we approach retirement, and then during our retirement years, is having mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.


The good news is that retirement can be a new chapter in your life when you meet new friends and try new challenges which can actually boost your self-confidence and self-worth. Below we explore some ways in which you can look after your mental health during your retirement years.



It's important that you eat well

A healthy and well-balanced diet can help you to feel better emotionally while boosting self-worth. Ideally, you should cut down on sugary snacks and processed foods, while increasing your intake of fruit and veg. When you have retired it can be tempting to snack throughout the day on biscuits and crisps, but this can actually lower your mood and make you feel depressed. Try to schedule meal times and keep healthy snacks in the fridge for when you feel peckish.



Keep active

One of the biggest issues that many older people struggle with during retirement is keeping active. It is well documented that regular low impact exercise such as walking can help to make us feel better because of the boost in those feel-good chemicals that are increased when we are active. Try to get out every day in the fresh air and walk for around 30 minutes.



Start a new hobby

Retirement is the perfect time to start a new hobby, to do those things you've always wanted to do but have never had the time due to work commitments. Join local groups, such as a yoga class, book groups or craft circles. Many of these will be advertised in the local library and online. If you live in a park home setting, there may already be groups set up, or you could start your own group. A new hobby and particularly one where you interact with others will help give your day and week structure which can, in turn, improve self-esteem.



Have a sense of purpose

It can be incredibly difficult to have a sense of purpose when you stop working. The trick to ease yourself into retirement and to then enjoy your time is to give your day structure and a new purpose for getting up in the morning. To ease this transition it's a good idea to make a daily to-do list. This may be something as simple as doing the shopping, visiting the library or attending a local group.



Its important to talk

Social isolation is a common problem for many individuals when they retire. An individual who lives alone and who went to work every day in a busy working environment can feel suddenly isolated when they leave the structure of work. This is when living in a park home or setting up your own social group can be extremely beneficial for your mental health and reduce social isolation.


Talking to others who are in a similar situation to yourself and share the same interests can help you to feel positive and energised.



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